A ‘Golden’ time was had by all who attended Temple Judea’s Fiftieth Anniversary Gala Dinner and celebration which was held on January 11, 2015. The room was full with close to 200 smiling, beautiful people. The food was delicious. The entertainment was truly a ‘show stopper,’ and the music, which played all night, which resulted in a full dance floor. And, of course, the highlight of the evening was the Honorees Ceremony during which the Temple’s past presidents Julius Schwartz, Ed Fleishman, Paul Feigenbaum, Seymour Wellikson, Richard Weitzman, and Morty Braver were honored. These well-deserved gentlemen received the recognition due to them by a grateful congregation. Tributes and legacy gifts may still be donated in support of ‘The Next Fifty Years” campaign.
Temple Judea has been able to thrive for the past five decades because of its strong lay leadership and a tradition of volunteering. Fifty years ago, starting in 1965, when Temple Judea first began, it was considered to be well ahead of its time. Like many of today’s independent minyans in several major metro areas which are headed not by a rabbi or professional clergy, Temple Judea was led by volunteer members who took turns leading the services and supporting each other in their pursuit of Judaism.
Temple Judea continued to be volunteer-led for 40 years without full-time clergy, either Rabbis or Cantors. After 40 years of volunteer leadership, it was felt that full-time professional spiritual leadership was needed to guide the congregation into the twenty-first century. During 2005, the Temple’s leadership worked judiciously to create a full-time spiritual leader position. In 2006, that goal was realized with the engagement of the congregation’s first full-time spiritual leader.
The congregation has been evolving and now includes a Hebrew school and bnai mitzvah training, according to Rabbi Dennis Linson. “Temple Judea’s building sits on a major thoroughfare with easy freeway access; is not situated behind any gates; and serves people who live all over Orange County,” he said.
In the same location for 50 years – Temple Judea includes a 300 permanent-seat sanctuary that expands to hold up to 900 seats, a social hall that can seat 225 for sit-down dining, separate meat and dairy kitchens, classrooms, offices, a chapel where minyans are held Monday and Thursdays and an outdoor playground. While located on Moulton Parkway in Laguna Woods, Temple Judea’s members come from Anaheim, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Coto de Caza and Trabuco Canyon.
Family memberships are offered at $800 per year. Individual adult membership is $350 per year. Temple Judea is located at 24512 Moulton Pkwy, one block south of El Toro Road. All memberships include Hebrew school classes and High Holy Day tickets. Single–parent family memberships are offered at $450 per year. The phone number is: (949) 830-0470. For more information, log onto: www.templejudealw.org or send an e-mail to the temple at firstname.lastname@example.org.